VAN- The construction works to build the hydroelectric power plant in Zilan Plain have been accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ecologist Fatih Şahin raised the demand to stop the construction of the plant in order to save the history and the nature. As the Zilan Plain, which is also known in Kurdish as the "Gelyê Zîlan", constitute an important part of the social memory in the region, because it was the scene for thousands of Kurds were massacred back in July 14 1930. Now the Zilan Plain is faced with the plan of a hydroelectrical power plant (HEP) as the construction of the HEP has been accelerated amid the coronavirus pandemic.
REACTION AGAINST THE HEP
Ekologist Fatih Şahin told their grounds to react to the construction of the HEP. Drawing attention to that the Zilan region is very important for the Kurdish people due to the attacks in 1930, when thousand of Kurds, including women and children were slaughtered, Şahin also told that Zilan serves as the habitat of many living creatures.
"They tried to cover their traces by throwing people in the wells. Then they buit Koç Bridge Dam. And now they try to build HEPs in Gelyê Zîlan to cover the events. There is two motivations here. First is that they try yo cover the massacre, which is very important in the history of the Kurdish people and to erase it from the memories. Second is that capitalist system arrives here and steal the environmental heritage to finally destroy to nature", said Şahin, as he emphasized the historical and environmental significance of the Zilan region.
12 THOUSAND PEOPLE WILL BE AFFECTED
Şahin also shared the information on the biological diversity in the Zilan region, which is now under the threat of HEP: "This region is rich with the water resources and embraces a wide variety of plant species, including endemic plants. Zilan region is the home fore 12 thousands of people in 10 seperate villages. The construction of the HEP will affect all the living eco-system of the region and 12 thousand people. These people living in here earn their livelihood via agriculture and livestock. When the HEP is built and the waters are taken hostage by it, people will not be able to find the water for their fields and the stockpiling will come to end. The wildlife in the plain will extinct as they won't be able to find water. As a matter of fact, they take the life captive as they take the water captive.
A THREAT FOR THE PEARL MULLETS
Pointing out to that the stream is a rich reserv for the minerals, Şahin stated the importance of the water sources for the fish population: "The fishes, known as the pearl mullets, which only live in Van Lake, migrate those time of the year and they lay their eggs in the fresh water here. When the water is first drawn by the pipes up and given back, the minerals in the water are destroyed. If the water here is not preserved in quality and in quantity, thousands of fishes will die, which already face permanent extinction".
MA / Cemil Uğur